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The Backpack
The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of NAU students
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Vol. 6 No. 4 | September 1, 2009
Family Weekend

Order Up! Family Weekend

by Dianna Van Sanford

With the rush of the first week of the semester now over—it is with great pleasure that I invite you to join me on campus for Family Weekend 2009.

Family Weekend is an event-packed weekend which takes place October 2–4 here in Flagstaff. This is a wonderful chance for you to visit your student and get another taste of college life at Northern Arizona University. We have some events that have grown in popularity over the years, including our festive casino night, the Celebration of Academic Achievement, and of course, the energizing football game—this year against Northern Colorado. If you haven’t yet seen a game played in the Skydome, this is one event you don’t want to miss!

An order form is available online and orders are now being accepted. You can also see the event schedule on the Family Weekend website.

Dianna Van Sanford signature

Whether this is your first or your nonillionth Family Weekend, I hope you will find many opportunities to enjoy, relax, and celebrate. I look forward to greeting you again on campus in October!


Community Living

by Chris Gunn, Ph.D., Director, Counseling Center

Community Living in a dorm room

Your student’s hall staff's goal this week is to help residents develop social networks through informal and planned activities. The idea is to get students out of their rooms and into a social environment where he/she can make campus connections. As a parent or family member of a new college student you may be hearing about homesickness or roommate conflicts.

Homesickness is normal for this time of year, especially for freshmen. Listen calmly and with perspective. Your student is adjusting to a new academic environment, developing a new social life, becoming familiar with campus, making financial adjustments, and is learning how to negotiate university life. He/she may call you s/he evening completely unnerved and absolutely forget about the call by the next morning simply because he or she had an opportunity to vent or process these experiences with you. Check out these ten helpful tips as you encourage your student this semester.

Many roommate conflicts are prevented by a working document called a roommate agreement. Soon, your student’s Resident Assistant will schedule a meeting to facilitate its development. Each roommate will have the opportunity to write down and agree upon one another’s expectations regarding living in the same space. Encourage your student to think about what is important to talk about in terms of space, belongings, and needs to be successful.

You have resources at your fingertips! If you sense that your student is experiencing extraordinary circumstances please don’t hesitate to call the Counseling Center or the Office of Parent and Family Services. We are more than willing to talk over any situation and will work with you to provide support to your student.


Health Tip

by Rhonda Powers, Campus Recreation Services

Students playing at the south field complex

Leading healthy and active lifestyles is an important facet of the collegiate experience and Campus Recreation Services can help set the tone early! We encourage all students to check out our new temporary set-up at the Fieldhouse, building #30.

A survey conducted last year among NAU students provided insight into the value of what Campus Recreation Services offers. Results show students who participated and used the Rec Center were 32.3 percent more likely to maintain a commitment to regular physical activity. The findings also showed that these students were 27.8 percent more likely to lead a healthy and active lifestyle than those students who did not use the Rec Center.

We have exactly what is needed to get into shape mentally, physically, and emotionally with a variety of new cardio equipment, including eight treadmills, a new climbing spire, tennis courts, and much more! Your student might also enjoy formatted workouts such as group exercise classes. Various classes designed for all fitness levels are offered. Your student can get energized by visiting the Rec Center today to start living the healthy way!


Event Highlights

Faces of India

♦ Come discover the “Faces of India,” the photography of Robert Bixler, in an exhibit hanging in the art gallery on the second floor of the School of Communication through Sept. 18.

First Friday Art Walk

♦ One of Flagstaff’s many charms is our First Friday Artwalk downtown. Come rain, shine, or snow the Artwalk is always cool. Check it out this Friday, Sept. 4.


♦ Fall 2009 Sorority Recruitment begins Sept. 4, 2009.

♦ Spend an Evening with Ween at Pine Mountain AMphitheater on Friday, Sept. 4. All ages. $30. 1-866-558-4253.

Coconino County Fair

♦ It’s the Coconino County Fair’s 60th Birthday—Party Till the Cows Come Home at Fort Tuthill County Park. Featuring the best of Coconino traditional fair exhibits, cultural presentations, local entertainment, and national headliners, livestock auctions, carnival rides, commercial vendors, and special themed areas. Sept. 4–6, 10 AM–10 PM, Sept. 7, 10 AM–4 PM, 928-679-8000

ShowUp.com is the resource for what's happening in theaters, museums, and outdoor venues throughout Flagstaff, and in other venues around Arizona.


Your Questions Answered

Mountain Campus Express accounts on students’ NAUCards allows them to do laundry, buy snacks from on-campus vending machines, and even purchase text books at the NAU bookstore. You can make a Guest Deposit to your student’s account using the internet.

Dining Dollars accounts are also on students’ NAUCards. Dining Dollars may be used for food purchases in addition to meals at all Campus Dining venues. Dining Dollars purchased in the fall semester carry over to the spring semester; all Dining Dollar accounts expire on the last day of each spring semester. Dining Dollar Only plans may be purchased through the Meal Planning office or online. Call 928-523-2372 for more information.

♦ Many families need to prove that their student is enrolled full time at NAU for insurance purposes. The Enrollment Verification Form from the Office of the Registrar will help you in this endeavor!

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